November 8, 2007

Japan Opener Still Uncertain

Will the Red Sox and Athletics open the 2008 season in Japan on March 24?

Theo Epstein says the team has not yet reached a decision. "It's up in the air. ...[I]f you want to speculate enough you could say approval of our players is the primary factor ..." The Globe reports that according to "at least two prominent members" of the team, the players do not want to make the trip. (The A's want to go.)

Negotiations with Mike Lowell continue. The Globe's Nick Cafardo has heard that the Sox are willing to go three years to keep the Doctor operating in Boston.

More from Cafardo:
Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester are being put on Jonathan Papelbon's shoulder-strengthening program and likely will visit with Josh Beckett to see how he performs his routine. The Sox will have a minicamp after Thanksgiving to go over the strength program.
There's a reality in baseball that if you try to keep things the same by not making changes, things will change on you anyway. In other words, players change, players age, chemistry changes, rosters and payroll structures change. It's better to be proactive and try to find the right mix for now and for the future rather than let it happen to you while you sit and watch and protest and wish it were still 2004.
Theo, on the ball used to record the final out of the 2007 World Series:
I have no idea where the ball is and don't really care. I hope that's a recurring problem for us.


Sean O said...

Let me go on record by saying: anyone but Lowell.

Give up Ellsbury and Lester for Cabrera. Figure out a trade for Dunn. Wait until Slappy's desperate because nobody will pay him $25m/per and sign him.

Lowell is due for a massive regression. Cabrera is a superstar. Pick up the phone, Theo.

nixon33 said...

i like lowell, but i must say i could go either way. whether it be a-rod instead, or cabrera.
think about the future, today.

Zenslinger said...

Massive regression? We can't expect him to do what he did in 2007, but massive? I don't think so. The park treats him very well. If he puts up 2006 numbers with good defense, I think he's worth 3/35 in this market.

Japan opener: it's tough. It would be fun and exciting to watch, but those plane rides are something it takes more than a day to recover from.

Zenslinger said...

Carfardo on Extra Bases says the market would bear $13-14m per for Lowell -- at four years! I think he'd probably take 3 years to stay with the Sox, but at what kind of money? I was thinking 3/36 for him, but...does he get 3/42? More? Seems like an awful lot.

s1c said...

3 for 42 is probably what is needed to sign Lowell now. What Theo needs to do is just have him leaving the 4th year on the table.

Sean O - Are you fragging nuts? (meant in a kind way). Ellsbury is the kind of player who can be your lead off hitter for the next 10 years. Slappy will get more than 25 million, both LA teams are interested in him and they will approach the 30 million mark by the second round of bidding.

Cabrera is an overweight 1b in the making, aka A fragging JASON GIAMBI. As for Lowell regression, that is what 99% of all players do after their Career YEAR, but his bat is only secondary, his defense improves the pitching and his leadership in the club house (especially for the latin players) is undeniable. Strange how since he came on board the MBM's in the club house died down, hell even Schilling and MBM got along this year.

Jan said...

I really have to disagree with you Sean.

A-rod is too much of a pretty boy. Also, it's been suggested that the reason the teams he plays for go to hell is because all he cares about are his stats, he's not a team player. We don't need someone like that in Boston.

Cabrera might be allright, but there's no way I'd give away Ellsbury, that would be just INSANE.

Ultimately, Lowell is by far the best choice. Will he hit like he did this year? Doubt it, since this was the year his contract was up (funny how that works, isn't it?), but his defense helps make the Sox' infield rock-solid, and even if he doesn't hit the way he did this year, high 200's would be fine by me. -Jan

9casey said...

I can't see Cabrera going anywhere to play 3b only one player in baseball had more errors that him at that postion.

I don't think they want to move youk back to third and nobody but Crisp (insert LBJ) leaves the outfield.

sean has a tendencey to jump the gun on these things, but he said,if I recall , earlier in the season that Lugo and Drew and crisp would have down years.

But Cabrera is not the answer not for Lester or any other picher and Ellsbury.....

If you don't get Lowell , you go cheap and get Crede or someone like that...

And Nixon talking about the future and mentioning Cabrera in the same sentence is mind boggling, you would have to give a lot of your future away....

I think theo has learned if you trade away the future you get aces back in return not fat clubhouse distractions.

And you expect Drew to have a better year and take some pressure off Lowell..if they sign him he will be fine.....

Sean O said...

You know who else iis a self-involved prima donna who doesn't care about winning? Randy Moss. Put A-rod in this uniform, and he will produce. Also, am I crazy, or did Rodriguez single-handedly drag his team into the playoffs?

Giving up Ellsbury, who is a 23 year old center fielder who will never, ever hit for power in exchange for one of the marquee players of our generation in Cabrera is "insane?" Cabrera has a .320 .401 .565 line in an extreme pitcher's park, albeit in AAAA, and is 5 months older.

When Manny leaves next year or in 3 years, who's going to be our power source? Do we really think Papi's going to be superhuman when he's on the Mo Vaughn path?

Cabrera is a top 5 player who is cost controlled for 2 years. Ellsbury and Lester would be a bargain.

Just not Lowell. Why should we settle for someone with no upside who will be making $12-14m after a year he had a .342 BABIP (.301 projected)?

Sean O said...

How is Cabrera a distraction? If he plays in a situation where winning matters, and he has a coaching staff that monitors his every mood, this guy is a superstar.

Why would we settle for Crede? Why do we want mediocrity when we can have a star? Ellsbury had a .388 BABIP, and Lester is a future 3rd/4th starter. Ellsbury will never hit for any sort of power, and while Crisp can't hit a damn, he was worth 8 WARP. He won't hurt us, Lowell's contract will.

s1c said...

Giving up Ellsbury, who is a 23 year old center fielder who will never, ever hit for power in exchange for one of the marquee players of our generation in Cabrera is "insane?" Cabrera has a .320 .401 .565 line in an extreme pitcher's park, albeit in AAAA, and is 5 months older.

I would advise you to look at the marlins home papers and other spots where Cabrera is being shown as a player who is blowing up also, as in weight, as in attitude etc.

As for the no power source I suggest you look at a couple of other posts on this page, ie the schilling ones where I stated I want to see this line up next year:

Ellsbury is under control for the next five years. He is not a power hitter but in case you haven't noticed there were only three players who hit over 20 home runs on the 2007 team. Its not about home runs its about OBP. A trade of Ellsbury for anyone but Ichirio is insane. Defense, speed, electricity and lots of doubles and triples.

Sean O said...

Ellsbury for Ichiro!?!?

You'd rather have a 34 year old singles hitter whose #1 value is in speed, which diminishes with age, than 24 year old that hits for nearly as high an average and .1-.2 points higher OPS?

Manny is getting older. Papi is entering the decline phase. Drew will never be a true slugger. Pedroia's a good doubles hitter, but not good for power. We have nearly nothing in our system for power. I don't care about "electricity", especially when we have the best fielder in baseball currently in center.

And anyone who has ever seen my posts knows I am not a Crisp homer. Ellsbury is good, but his value will never be higher than after his WS performance and his .388 BABIP. If we can somehow fleece Florida into accepting Ellsbury and Masterson, do it now.

s1c said...

I am proposing nothing I am only pointing out the only player that you should even be thinking about.

Cabrera is headed for 1st base. The man's numbers are good, but do you want an over weight loser, and I stress loser, with bad habits on your team?

I don't, I'll take the controllable young player with oh I don't know, unlimited potential over cabrera any time. As for Coco, I like Coco, but Ellsbury is far better. Obviously you have not followed Ellsbury's career if you think this is his highest.

ish said...

As long as Lowell's got Manny and the Bedazzler hitting in front of him, with hopefully an improved J.D. Drew, and also Yook behind or in front of him, he'll continue to be a good, solid hitter who will be consistently good both in the box and in the field. Gotta look toward the future at third, though. But if you lock up Lowell for three years, that'll give you time to groom somebody from the inside to take his place, and if you can't do that, then you get a third baseman in three years. No worries.

Who knows how Cabrera would act if he was on a team committed to winning, playing in a ballpark that is sold out every game? That would be interesting, the change of scenery and the change of attitude of an organization, but not interesting enough to make a deal. You know what to expect with Mike Lowell. You can either have someone who is the straw that stirs the drink, or you can have someone who is the steady hand that keeps the drink from spilling in your lap. Hmm.

I remember when Hanley Ramírez was one of those untouchable prospects for the Red Sox, and sometimes you do find that once-in-a-blue-moon deal where it is actually worth trading the young talent for. But see, it would have to be a crazy sweet deal in order to even consider trading Ellsbury or Buchholz. Now, if you could package Coco and Jon Lester for somebody like Erik Bedard or Johan Santana, that would be okay with me. But in this market today, there would need to be someone else. People get focused so much in who the best young guys are that they get fixated on them even when they are "untouchable".

We've talked about Johan Santana and what it would take to trade for him, and it seemed like the overall consensus would be having to deal Ellsbury and/or Buchholz. But tell me how Coco and Jon Lester wouldn't be a good fit. The problem is that Minnesota gets enamored over Ellsbury and Buchholz and they don't see the potential in Jon Lester, who's only real problem is not challenging hitters enough. He's got the stuff to be a good pitcher. Oh well. We'll see what happens.

Sean O said...

Ellsbury hit .353/.394/.509 this year, with a .388 BABIP and a .155 ISOP. Except for the brief stop in Portland this year, Ellsbury has always had an ISOP between .1-.12, aka nothing special. He has a good eye, but I would say he's heading for a .750 OPS, tops. This year, that would've been good enough for 11th of 21 qualifying center fielders.

And I will never understand the hatred for Cabrera. A "loser", are you serious? He's as old as Ellsbury, and has a .313 .388 .542 MLB line, 138 HRs, and hit .265 .315 .471 as a *20 year old* to win a world series ring.

Would you not want CC because he's fat? People are saying he's heading to first like it's a bad thing, while I'd say it's a damn good thing. Papi is getting older, so Cabrera will be a 1B for a few years until Papi's done, then he heads to DH.

Cabrera will be a star, Ellsbury will be league average. We also have several OFs in the system, while we have Lars (maybe) for infield corners. With Cabrera, pitchers weep when they think of facing us. With Ellsbury, they have someone they have Mike Cameron.

Zenslinger said...

Not a bad case for Cabrera, although he's going to be serious money, and soon.

It may be true that there's "irrational exuberance" over Ellsbury -- but league average? He will be more than league average, I promise.

9casey said...

Zenslinger said...
Ellsbury -- but league average? He will be more than league average, I promise.

I think Ellsbury will to things night in and night out that will go unoticed on a stat sheet...He brings excitement a new different kind of excitement, something Johnny Damon didn't always have.